ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Monday announced the postponement of PTI’s intra-party elections, stating that elections will now be held after the party concludes it march onto Raiwind.
“Our intra-party elections were on track to be held, and the entire party was busy in preparations, but after the revelations of Panama Papers came to the forefront, we have decided to postpone the elections,” said Imran while addressing a group of media personnel.
He added that the decision was taken after a meeting of PTI’s senior leadership.
“Since we want to initiate the Raiwind march movement, we decided today to postpone the intra-party elections.”
He added that all party activity in relation to intra-party elections will be stopped, except for the membership campaign which the PTI is running.
Imran also announced establishment of committees to facilitate Raiwind march.
Earlier, Dawn reported that PTI will organise a ‘long march’ to the Sharif family’s Raiwind residence to protest against its undeclared assets and offshore companies and called upon the party workers, as well as those belonging to PML-N and PPP, to join the march.
Imran had also demanded an impartial judicial commission under the chief justice of Pakistan.
The data leak has revealed financial wheelings and dealings of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s family, among dozens of others, including world leaders.
The data from the Panama Papers, available on the website of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists — one of around 100 news organisations and 300 journalists that worked on mining the data simultaneously — also reveals the offshore holdings of members of Prime Minister Sharif’s family.
According to documents available on the ICIJ website, the PM’s children Mariam, Hasan and Hussain “were owners or had the right to authorise transactions for several companies”.
Mariam is described as “the owner of British Virgin Islands-based firms Nielsen Enterprises Limited and Nescoll Limited, incorporated in 1994 and 1993”.
On one of the documents released by ICIJ, the address listed for Nielsen Enterprises is Saroor Palace in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The document, dated June 2012, describes Mariam Safdar as the ‘beneficial owner’.
According to ICIJ, “Hussain and Mariam signed a document dated June 2007 that was part of a series of transactions in which Deutsche Bank Geneva lent up to $13.8 million to Nescoll, Nielsen and another company, with their London properties as collateral.”
Hasan Nawaz Sharif is described as “the sole director of Hangon Property Holdings Limited incorporated in the British Virgin Islands in February 2007, which acquired Liberia-based firm Cascon Holdings Establishment Limited for about $11.2 million in August 2007”.
Further reading: [PM orders judicial commission to probe his family after Panama data leak]
But the papers are not necessarily evidence of wrongdoing. According to The Guardian, using offshore structures is entirely legal.